Sunday, June 21, 2015

It Happened in America: Galaxy throttle Union, Quakes down Sounders on the road

Seattle Sounders 0-2 San Jose Earthquakes
Seattle took a beating in their US Open Cup match midweek against Portland. They lost Obafemi Martins to a chest injury. They lost Clint Demspey for three games (and afterwards they will be without him because of his USMNT commitments in the Gold Cup) because of a fantastic tirade during extra time. It showed that they were missing their two top goal scorers tongiht as they get blanked at home by the Quakes. Sanna Nyassi and Matias-Perez Garcia did the damage for San Jose. Seattle is still in first out west, but Vancouver is now level on points.

Toronto FC 0-2 New York City
NYC continues to find their stride in the days leading up towards Frank Lampard joining them. Their current superstar, David Villa, scored twice in this one. The first came in the eighth minute on a connection that almost looked like a pass too many. Villa had to fight through some Red defenders in order to receive the pass that led to the easy tap in. The second goal came on a penalty just before the hour mark. City is now part of a four way tie for fifth place in the East.

New York Red Bulls 1-2 Vancouver Whitecaps
The Red Bulls are also involved in that fifth place tie after this loss. They got off to a rather poor start in this one as Sacha Kljestan was sent off in the 11th minute for an uncalled for tripping of Kendall Watson. Kekuta Manneh would score four minutes later for the Whitecaps. It went to 2-0 in the 77th minute with a goal by Kianz Froese. Ten-man New York would score one in the 82nd minute as part of a faux comeback attempt. The Vancouver win lifts them to a tie for first in the West with Seattle. 

Montreal Impact 2-0 Orlando City
Another win against a Playoff contender for Montreal as their strong season continues. Donny Toia scored in the 36th minute for the Impact and they put it away three minutes into stoppage time with a goal by Dominic Oduro. Montreal is above the red line in fifth as the leaders in the four way tie for the last two playoff spots in the east. Orlando is three points ahead of that mess in third.

LA Galaxy 5-1 Philadelphia Union
Galaxy were scoring early and often in this one on their way to a much expected win against the Union. Baggio Husidic scored the first one in the 23rd minute. The second came 12 minutes later when Gyasi Zardes played a perfect low cross for Juninho, who was waiting near the penalty spot to boot it home. After the half, there was a stretch of four minutes with three goals scored. First it was Zardes for LA, then CJ Sapong for Philly, and finally Stefan Ishazaki for LA again. All three were between the 56th and 59th minutes. Sebastian Lletget added LA's fifth goal in the 65th. It was the statement game the Galaxy needed after a recent run of bad results. They even on points with Portland for the third spot in the West. Those two meet up Wednesday night.

Portland Timbers 2-0 Houston Dynamo
Portland was on the front foot for most of the first half, but it was Houston with the first real chance. They had a goal taken away from them in the 15th minute for a foul drawn by Jorge Villafana. Portland would capitalize off their pressure with a Maxi Urruti header off a free kick in the 34th minute. The third goal of the season for the Argentine was delivered by a Villafana free kick. Gaston Fernandez put the second one in from the spot in the 61st minute. Portland is absolutely on fire right now. They have won a franchise record four straight MLS games and five in a row across all competitions. They have jumped all the way to third in the West with 25 points, four back of first place Seattle and Vancouver.

Let's talk about Portland's defensive record here for a minute. They earn another clean sheet here against Houston and they are second in MLS in goals allowed with 14 through 16 matches. That is behind only Colorado's 13. They have seven clean sheets and have allowed more than one goal only four times. When you are giving up less than a goal per game, you are pretty hard to beat, and that bodes pretty well for a Timbers team getting their best player, Diego Valeri, back into form.

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